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Recent Articles

Council Decides

A Report of CTA’s State Council of Education | April 2015

Upcoming State Council and At Large Ethnic Minority Election

Non Re-elected / Temporary Contract Information Packet

CalSTRS Retirement Issues & Facts Informational Workshop

Sponsored by the East County Teachers UniServ

Pre-Retirement Workshop

Sponsored by: CTA/San Diego County Service Center Council

Setting the Record Straight

GEA Members,

In an effort to keep you informed regarding an Alpine High School, please read the document below from Superintendent Ralf Swenson on the Alpine Injunction, and its impact on the Grossmont District.


Fran Zumwalt
GEA President

You Can Take Action -- On 'No Child Left Behind' High Stakes Testing

GEA Members,

If you agree with the following powerful opinion piece, consider writing to your congresspersons using the National Education Association’s Legislative Action Center. The link makes writing your legislator so easy, that the letter almost writes itself. In a matter of minutes (even seconds) your voice will be heard - and that will make a difference. Here is the link:



Fran Zumwalt
GEA President
Washington Post
February 13

‘No Child Left Behind’ has failed

By Lily Eskelsen García, President, National Education Association, and Otha Thornton, President, National Parent Teacher Association

Public education for every child was an American idea, but it has always been a local and state responsibility. Even when Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act 50 years ago, the intended federal role was limited but clear: ensuring equal opportunity.

The act provided federal resources for states to level the playing field between schools in wealthy and poor districts. However, its 2002 reauthorization, which became known as No Child Left Behind, took the law off track by mandating that all students hit arbitrary scores on standardized tests instead of ensuring equal opportunities.

No Child Left Behind has failed. Now we have a chance to fix the law by refocusing on the proper federal role: equal opportunity. To do that, we must change the way we think about accountability.

Under No Child Left Behind, accountability has hinged entirely on standardized test scores, a single number that has been used to determine whether students graduate or teachers keep their jobs. The problem is, a single test score is like a blinking “check engine” light on the dashboard. It can tell us something’s wrong but not how to fix it.

What we need instead is a whole dashboard of indicators that monitor better measures of success for the whole child — a critical, creative mind, a healthy body and an ethical character. And we need indicators of each student’s opportunities to learn — what programs, services and resources are available?

Success should be measured throughout the system — preschool to high school — but a standardized test tells us so little. We want to know which students are succeeding in Advanced Placement and honors programs, where they earn college credit in high school. You can measure that. We want to know which students have certified, experienced teachers and access to the support professionals they need, such as tutors, librarians, school nurses and counselors. We want to know which students have access to arts and athletic programs. Which middle school students are succeeding in science, technology, engineering and math tracks that will get them into advanced high school courses, which will get them into a university. You can measure all that, too.

And we want the data broken down by demographic groups, so we can ensure that all types of students have access to these resources. Without this dashboard of information, how would the public know which children are being shortchanged? How would anything change on the local or state level?

Real equal opportunity, of course, isn’t a “one size fits all” proposition. It means providing every child whatever he or she needs to learn, whether it’s tutoring and mentoring, counseling or other services. If a student comes to school hungry or sick, can we really say that she has an opportunity to learn? Of course not — and we must acknowledge this by seeing each student as a whole human being with individual needs.

We must also recognize that the misuse of test scores has had unintended negative consequences, especially for students at high-poverty schools. In service to high-stakes “test and punish” threats, schools with the most limited resources have been most likely to cut back on history, art, music and physical education, simply because they aren’t covered on standardized tests. Those are the schools where test prep has robbed students of quality one-on-one time with teachers. Teachers have told us that students in their schools have had recess cut back in order to clear more time for test prep, despite abundant research showing that exercise improves learning. Under No Child Left Behind, the testing tail is wagging the dog.

After years of false starts, Congress now seems serious about fixing this law. At a time when many Americans have lost faith in Washington’s ability to solve problems, this is a chance for educators, parents and Congress to work together and ensure equal opportunity for every student. We must seize this moment.

GEA/CTA Going to Electronic Voting for NEA-RA Delegate Election

GEA members will be receiving an invitation to vote for National Education Association Representative Assembly delegates by email shortly.

The National Education Association is the affiliate National organization for GEA, as the Calironia Education Association is the State affiliate for GEA.

GEA Members voted using paper ballots in the past to elect NEA-RA members. Now, GEA members will now have three (3) ways to vote for NEA-RA
State delegates.

  1. Electronic Voting. On or before February 13, 2015, members will receive an e-mail message from Simply Voting, Inc. The e-mail will contain a link which will lead members to a secure website where they will be able to vote online. A personal identification number plus an assigned password will be provided in the e-mail message. Members who receive an e-mail, but do not wish to vote electronically can request a physical ballot from Simply Voting, Inc. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot from Simply Voting, Inc. is February 20, 2015. Requests should be made to: SDSC@simplyvoting.com.
  2. Mail-In Voting. On or before February 13, 2015, members who do not have a valid e-mail address registered with CTA will receive a mail-in ballot automatically from Simply Voting, Inc.
  3. Walk-in voting. A mail-in ballot that has been acquired from Simply Voting, Inc. can be hand delivered to the San Diego RRC. Ballots must be sealed in the return envelope provided by Simply Voting, Inc., and hand-delivered by the deadline.

The CTA San Diego RRC is located at:
5333 Mission Center Road, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92108

Do not mail your ballot to the CTA San Diego RRC - it will not be accepted. Replacement materials (ballots, bio's, envelopes) will not be available at the CTA office.

Members who have not received an e-mail or a mail-in ballot by February 18th, should contact Simply Voting, Inc. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot from Simply Voting, Inc. is February 20, 2015. Requests should be made to: SDSC@simplyvoting.com.

Members are responsible to ensure that their ballot is submitted by March 13, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.

Please don't hesitate to contact our office at 460-3465 with any questions.

Fran Zumwalt
GEA President